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Beatrice Mtetwa trial resumes

THE trial of human rights defender Beatrice Mtetwa on charges of obstructing the course of justice resumed yesterday.

THE trial of human rights defender Beatrice Mtetwa on charges of obstructing the course of justice resumed yesterday with the State’s third witness, Detective Sergeant Ngatirwe Mamiza, giving a different version of circumstances surrounding the alleged commotion.


Mtetwa was arrested on March 17 this year after she allegedly blocked police from searching her client Thabani Mpofu’s residence. She has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Early this month, one of the witnesses, Detective Assistant Inspector Wilfred Chibage, told the court that the search at Mpofu’s residence continued even after Mtetwa’s arrest.

However, Mamiza yesterday said the police team aborted the search soon after the lawyer allegedly became abusive and caused commotion at the scene, thereby attracting public attention.

Mamiza said he was terrified with the manner Mtetwa exhibited herself and wondered where she had gotten the authority to challenge the police officers on duty.

He said this was after Mtetwa allegedly labelled the officers “Mugabe’s dogs” and ordered them to stop whatever they were doing which she said was “undemocratic”.

“I was scared to conduct my duties properly because I did not know who the accused (Mtetwa) was. However, Chief Superintendent Luxmore Mukazhi, who was known to the accused, tried to calm her down and Detective Assistant Inspector Wilfred Chibage offered her the search warrant, but she refused to accept it,” Mamiza said.

Mamiza said he was part of a team of police officers which raided and searched Mpofu’s residence.

Mpofu is director of research at former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office.

Mamiza said on the day in question, Mtetwa arrived at Mpofu’s residence in Westgate after police officers had already shown Mpofu their search warrant and were already searching the premises.

Asked at what stage the search warrant was produced and shown to Mpofu, Mamiza said immediately after opening his gate, Mpofu met Mukazhi and after some introductions, he was shown the search warrant, but he reluctantly accepted it and gave the police officers the green light to conduct the search.

Mtetwa, however, asked Mamiza to confirm whether it would be false if someone would testify that Mpofu was handed the search warrant while in his bedroom, to which Mamiza said it would be a lie.

As Mamiza continued with his evidence, director of public prosecutions Tawanda Zvekare asked him to comment on Mtetwa’s allegations that the State had an axe to grind with the human rights lawyer, an assertion he denied.

During cross-examination by Mtetwa, Mamiza denied that he had met her before, but Mtetwa insisted she had met him twice prior to the day in question.

The trial continues today before Harare magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa.